Bulgaria continues talks on resuming Gazprom supply
Negotiations are ongoing between Bulgaria and Gazprom on resuming Russian gas supply, the board chairman of the country's national gas company Bulgargaz said in an interview with local television on August 3.
Gazprom cut off gas supply to Bulgaria in late April after Sofia refused to comply with a Kremlin decree requiring payments for shipments to be made in rubles.
"Although there are no supplies at the moment, negotiations are still continuing," Bulgargaz chairman Ivan Topchiysky told local television channel Nova. "We don't know how the correspondence will develop, but there is a chance of supplies being resumed. The matter is not completely closed."
Bulgaria has a contract for Russian gas supply until the end of the year.
Bulgarian prime minister Kiril Petkov and his administration have faced criticism from opposition parties for not accepting Moscow's ruble demand. Deputy prime minister Assen Vassilev had told parliament in early June that the government would never negotiate with Gazprom again.
Bulgaria has limited alternatives to Russian gas right now, and its gas storage facilities are only at 48% of capacity – far below the EU target for the end of October of 80%. From the start of September, however, the country will gain access to supplies from Azerbaijan via a newly-inaugurated pipeline connection with Greece.